Syracuse’s head coach wants to make it clear he’s not even thinking about doing anything else at this juncture.
Jim Boeheim’s retirement as the head coach of the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team has been a running joke for over a decade now. Since he’s 74 years old, everyone wants to know when he’s going to call it quits. Yet he’s never really seemed all that likely to do so — even when we had an actual date attached to the event (which has since come and gone).
We’ve had updates around this recently — back in April, even — but the latest quote from Boeheim seems more adamant that it’s never happening than it ever has before.
Adam Zagoria spoke to Boeheim briefly, as part of a story on Adrian Autry’s head coaching qualifications, and while Jim does endorse Autry’s abilities, he also spends a good deal of the quote telling you that he (Jim) also isn’t going anywhere:
“Yeah, absolutely. I think that (Autry) will and should be a head coach soon. I’m going to coach for a while. I’m not going to get out. I’m not even thinking about it. I think I’ll just keep coaching, but I think he’ll be a head coach very soon someplace. He could certainly be the head coach at Syracuse, too.”
This doesn’t sound like a man that’s ever retiring.
Now of course, things can change rather quickly for someone’s life decisions. If Syracuse is able to get back to a Final Four in the next couple years and take home Boeheim’s second title, I’d bet he’d walk away on top. Boeheim’s one that understands the concept of legacy and while he’s happy to have the one championship, he certainly sees how much better it would look with two — and how sweet it would be to rub everyone’s face in it, to some extent, if he went out with a title at no fewer than 75 years of age.
But if SU starts to falter (to a greater extent than the recent regular season struggles), there’s a chance that the school or the coach could decided to call it a day. Jim’s only three years removed from a Final Four and one removed from a Sweet 16. He hasn’t “lost it” by any stretch. More extensive losing, however, could force someone’s hand. If not now, maybe five or six years down the road.
There’s also the chance that Boeheim’s just compensating for potential negative recruiting tactics from rivals on the trail. Certainly you’re a target for “he’s not going to be there much longer” takes from opposing coaches when you’re 74. Having a lot of opinions to the contrary in print is an easy way to combat that dynamic.
In any case, Jim’s not going anywhere and he wants you to know it. He also said Autry could be Syracuse’s head coach at some point, though he didn’t commit to when. The endorsement could be something that reveals his preference on who receives heavy consideration when the time comes. Whether or not that’s heavily taken into account by John Wildhack, however, probably depends on how we get to Boeheim’s final day on the job.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Jim’s coaching this team until he physically and/or mentally cannot anymore. Time will tell if it ends up coming to that, though based on his quotes, it very well could barring a championship.
Or, y’know, we just go the clone route...
Jim Boeheim will coach for as long as it takes to develop cloning technology. As soon as they are capable of cloning 70-year-old Boeheim so he can live on as Syracuse coach into eternity, that is when Boeheim 1 will retire, and we will be gifted Boeheim 2 as Syracuse successor. https://t.co/4PbFaRxZaP— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 10, 2019